OSCE media watchdog asks Ukraine not to expel Russian journalists
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir says he is concerned over "the practice of detention and expulsion of foreign journalists from Ukraine," according to his letter addressing Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin.
"Expelling journalists from or denying them entry to Ukraine are troubling and excessive measures, especially as these actions lack transparency and a proper appeal mechanism," the letter dated August 30 said.
"OSCE participating States have committed themselves to improving the conditions under which journalists from one participating State practice their profession in other participating States," he said.
Desir also mentioned that he had previously addressed the Ukrainian authorities on similar incidents involving journalists working for the Russian State Television and Radio Company.
He recalled that on August 14, the SBU Security Service of Ukraine detained and deported Tamara Nersesyan who stands accused of damaging Ukraine's national interests. She has been banned from entering the country for three years.
On July 26, the SBU deported Russia-1 and Russia-24 TV journalist Maria Knyazeva and denied her entry into the country on the grounds of biased coverage of the situation in Ukraine.
Read alsoUkraine's media ministry demands details why two Spanish journalists on SBU's stop listHe also mentioned that on August 25, the SBU denied entry to two Spanish journalists, Antonio Pampliega and Manuel Angel Sastre, and banned them from entering the country for three years, reportedly for "activities countering national interests of Ukraine."
Pending expulsion from Ukraine is journalist of Russia's federal Channel One Anna Kurbatova. She was detained by the SBU in Kyiv on August 30. According to an SBU spokesperson, the journalist will be deported "for disgracing Ukraine." "I call on the respective authorities to refrain from imposing unnecessary limitations on the work of foreign journalists, which affect the free flow of information and violate OSCE commitments on freedom of the media," Desir said.
Meanwhile, correspondent of Ukraine's only state-run news agency, Ukrinform, Roman Sushchenko, who was arrested in Russia on trumped-up espionage charges, has already spent 11 months in a Russian detention center. On June 27, Moscow's Lefortovo district court extended his arrest for another three months, until September 30.